Thursday, May 23, 2013

When the Thrill is Gone

The Green Door
The town I grew up in outdid itself in providing wholesome opportunities for its kids. Each summer the school bus made the rounds to the major intersections (all four of them) and gathered us up for a day at the town beach where we had Red Cross swimming lessons and afternoons of free swim.

At one spot along the route was a perfectly poised hump, which if hit at the right speed would lift your butt off the vinyl seat and flip your stomach into a thrilling free float.

As soon the lumbering bus rounded the corner far enough for the driver to see the coast was clear, we’d all start chanting, “Faster! Faster!” And since this was in the Time before Nanny, the bus driver heeded the charge, stepped on the gas, launching sixty or so whooping and hollering kids into the air.
Decades later, I still remember the anticipation of that “thank-you-ma’am” (that’s what we called those road bumps) in my stomach.

It’s hard to let go of thrills, whether of a great adventure or a close encounter with God. They rouse our dispassionate spirits and electrify our dulled expectations. Like two-years-olds we cry, “Do it again!”

We say “yes!” with Isaiah when he cries, Oh that you would come down. . . as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence!

But in the daily, in the here and now, nothing-is-spectacular moments, the silence of the Presence, and even in the can-it-get-any-worse? situations, we act like a sails without a breeze. Dishes, and walking-the-dog, and making oatmeal hardly seem the stuff of great expectations.

In his short story “The Green Door,” O. Henry wrote, “The twin spirits Romance and Adventure are always abroad seeking worthy wooers.”*And I propose--so is the Spirit of God.

 In the story, Rudolf Steiner is handed a card which he supposes is for the dentistry down the street. But when he turns his card over he sees three words: The Green Door. When he inspects the cards that were discarded on the street, he sees they all have the dentist’s information.

To act upon his mystery adventure or pass it by? Rudolf makes his decision and seeks the green door. And then the O. Henry surprise.

Reminds me of God.  The unexpected. The guiding of our way. The joy set before the one who obeys. Even in the every day.

Especially in the every day.  May we set our faces on Him so that whether experiences come or go we will not only endure but "know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled up to all the fullness of God."—E ph. 3:19

Hey! My friend Lisa Buffaloe happened to write about “Thank-you-ma’ams” in her blog this week also. What are the chances of that! Only she calls them Whee Bumps! Be encouraged and hop on over to her take on Whee Bumps.

Blessings abundant friends,

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